Changes in stiffness of the dorsal scapular muscles before and after computer work: a comparison between individuals with and without neck and shoulder complaints

Hiroaki Ishikawa, Takayuki Muraki, Shuhei Morise, Yusuke Sekiguchi, Nobuyuki Yamamoto, Eiji Itoi, Shin Ichi Izumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare the stiffness of the dorsal scapular muscles before and after computer work between individuals with and without neck and shoulder complaints. Methods: Thirty subjects were divided into patient (n = 18) and control (n = 12) groups. The stiffness of the upper trapezius, levator scapulae, and rhomboid major was measured using ultrasound elastography before and after a 30-min typing task. The strain ratio of the muscle to an acoustic coupler was calculated (a lower strain ratio value indicates greater muscle stiffness). Results: At baseline, the strain ratio of the upper trapezius in the patient group (3.762 ± 1.679) (mean ± SD) was significantly lower than that of the control group (7.763 ± 5.921) (p = 0.041). No significant change in the strain ratio of the upper trapezius after the typing task was observed in the patient group (4.158 ± 3.465) (p = 0.549). A significant decrease in the strain ratio of the levator scapulae after the typing task was observed in the patient group (before: 9.006 ± 7.079, after: 5.718 ± 2.847) (p = 0.022), whereas there was no significant change in the control group (p = 0.436). Conclusions: The increase in stiffness of the upper trapezius is an objective finding and may be a persistently altered condition in individuals with neck and shoulder complaints. The patterns of change in stiffness of the levator scapulae are different between individuals with and without neck and shoulder complaints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-187
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Volume117
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1

Keywords

  • Chronic pain
  • Elasticity
  • Levator scapulae muscle
  • Muscle hardness
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Rhomboid major muscle
  • Trapezius muscle
  • Ultrasound elastography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)

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